Swapping the fashion and food of France for the charm and culture of Campbelltown, three rugby league players are this year calling Macarthur home.
Remi Dufour, Vincent Bablon and Jean-Baptiste Bousquet were given the opportunity to live and play in Campbelltown this year by the East Campbelltown Eagles.
Eagles life member Daniel Draper met Dufour and Bablon when on holiday in France in 2015.
Draper had played for French club Cahors Bluedevils himself in 1999 and 2000 and has been arranging for Eagles players to visit the European country to play for years.
“It was one of the best things I have done, to live in another country and enjoy the culture,” he said.
“To experience different food and language is something I’ll never forget and to give our local boys the opportunity to play in France is great for our club and our area.”
The three French players – from the Toulouse Olympic club – are loving their time in Campbelltown.
Dufour and Bousquet have both found language to be one of their greatest challenges in adapting to Australian life.
“I’m learning fast,” Dufour said.
“All people are friendly here and very understanding when I talk.”
Bousquet found that even his sport was different Down Under.
“The rugby league in Australia is very fast,” he said.
“I think it’s like soccer in Brazil. All people are born with a rugby ball and there is rugby league on TV every time – I also love this.
“The ovals are good in Australia but in France are more built up – here you have only a field and the house for food and a change room.
“In France, even if its the smaller club of France, you have also seats, a club house, et cetera.
“But here you have the sun, you can watch the footy sitting on the grass and you also have concrete in the middle of your field which is crazy.”
The pair are loving their time in Australia so much that they are considering staying even longer, citing ‘all the French Rugby players want to play here’.
“It’s our dream, we live our dream,” Dufour said.
“Now we can say, ‘I was playing rugby in Australia’.”